Madden NFL 23 Franchise Mode Changes That Would Truly Improve It

Now that the next installment in the Madden NFL franchise is officially coming, it’s time to consider what this particular iteration is going to have to offer. While there are quite a few players out there that have long claimed that each new year basically brings a reskin of the previous year’s game, there is a chance that Electronic Arts is going to really soup up some features the game has to offer. In fact, it seems like the year that Madden NFL is paying tribute to John Madden would be the perfect time to do a true refresh of what the franchise mode includes.


It’s worth noting that Electronic Arts seems to understand that Madden NFL players are more than a little frustrated with the franchise at this point. When this year’s version was announced, the company made it clear that “improvements” had been made to franchise mode especially. While that wasn’t the entire focus of the reveal, it was big enough that it appears the developer understands there’s a bit of pressure this year. However, it seems as though the improvements are mostly going to be tweaks of the mechanics that already appeared in previous iterations. If Electronic Arts really wants to make Madden NFL 23 a game-changer, there are some things it could add to the franchise mode that could earn quite a bit of goodwill among those who have been playing the franchise for decades.

RELATED: Madden NFL 23 Feature is Exclusive to Next-Gen Versions of the Game

Expansion Teams

There was a time when expansion options were the norm in sports games. Whether talking about baseball, football, basketball, or hockey, there was a chance for players to build their very own franchise in their very own city from the ground up. These days, the best and most expansive expansion modes are included in NBA 2K21 and EA’s own NHL 22. It’s been a long, long time since either baseball or football games offer any kind of franchise expansion, and it’s past time for the Madden franchise to go back to its roots in that regard.

EA has given at least a cursory nod to the expansion mode with the ability to relocate a franchise to basically any city a player wants, within reason. During this relocation, players can change the name of the team and the look of the uniforms. It’s certainly not a far cry from doing that to an existing team, to make it so that users go through an expansion draft and propagate their roster with players from other teams around the league. The fact that this mode is included in NHL 22 would seem to indicate that EA knows exactly how to roll this kind of feature out, so it’s not clear why it’s not already on offer. If Electronic Arts really wanted to offer a big change to Madden NFL 23‘s franchise mode, being able to make a brand-new team would be a biggie.

A Full Coaching Staff

One of the improvements Madden NFL 22 offered was that the coaching staff that works under the players’ head coach was quite a bit more detailed than in years past. Now it’s time to take the next leap and have a full coaching staff. That means that there should be offensive and defensive line coaches, linebackers coaches, defensive backs, quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers coaches. They should also all have different ratings that are going to affect how the roster plays and develops over the course of a season. This coaching staff should also be hired and fired, and it might even be pretty cool if the computer hires away a star defensive coordinator to be another team’s head coach.

This kind of impact on the players from the coaching staff is already done in some other games. Most notably, the MLB the Show franchise offers hitting and pitching coaches that affect how players are going to perform. The idea that there might be a chance to lose a very good coach to another team would add a new wrinkle to the franchise mode that could be quite fun. Likewise, going out and stealing a good defensive coordinator to be the user’s defensive wiz would also be entertaining and engaging in a way the mode hasn’t been so far.

Coaches Rising Through The Ranks

Back in the earlier versions of the NCAA Football franchise modes, one of the neatest things that the game did was to have a real coaching carousel that would start players’ careers as defensive or offensive coordinators. They would conceivably have to work their way up the ranks in order to actually get a good head coaching offer. It seems like Madden NFL 23 could do some version of this, with players even starting lower on the totem pole and having to work their way up to head coach at the highest level.

There could even be a new kind of “Face of the Franchise” mode that could incorporate the college teams that were included in the last few installments. Instead of trying to win the game as a quarterback, the mode could offer up the ability to coach a college team through an imagined season. Then the success of that season would determine what sort of job offers a user got in the NFL. This particular addition seems like it’s not even on the radar of EA and almost certainly won’t be in Madden NFL 23, but it should be in Madden NFL 24 if the company wanted to win over fans.

Enhanced Coaching Mode

One of the oddities of the Madden NFL franchise mode is that it’s been a long time since the game has really focused on the coaching aspect of the franchise. That’s despite playing at focusing on that aspect with things like the weekly press conference and other relatively new additions. That’s even weirder considering that EA once made a game that was specifically about being a head coach. In fact, that game was only a coaching mode and didn’t actually allow users to control the players. The game only had one year and struggled to really catch on, but it would be legitimately cool to see quite a bit of what that game had to offer in changes to the Madden NFL franchise mode.

Madden NFL 23 should lean into the coaching mode, rather than making it something that people have to try and figure out how to do best. There should be a switch player can flip, as there has been in the past that turns on the coaching mode. However, it shouldn’t just be a thing where players just call plays. There should be specific actions and events that are accessed in this coach mode. Considering the number of glitches that have popped up in the Madden franchise mode lately, and the number of sliders that have been put out in the last few years, making it more attractive to just be the coach could win some fans back to the game.

Madden NFL 23 is set for release on August 19, 2022.

MORE: John Madden’s Impact Is Evident In His Legacy Of NFL Games

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